Starting August 31, 2020 to October 15, 2020 Fort Steilacoom Park users can enjoy poetry placed around Waughop Lake. The poems are all located along the nearly 1-mile path circumnavigating Waughop Lake in the heart of Lakewood’s 350-acre Fort Steilacoom Park.
The signs were placed by Tahoma Audubon Society volunteers who are growing a fledgling “Poetry in the Park” initiative.
Six years ago Dona Townsend and her husband were hiking in the Olympic National Park when they came around a corner and found a sign with poetry on it. They learned of two other locations with poetry along the trail and made a point to hike them too.
They loved the idea and thought it would be a great thing to bring to the South Sound.
Last year marked the first year the group organized a Poetry in the Park event in Lakewood at Fort Steilacoom Park. Other Poetry in the Park events previously occurred in the cities of Tacoma and University Place.
All of the poems have a nature theme either about trees, water, birds or the outdoors in general. They aren’t too long either, due to the size of the sign and to keep people’s interest. The group worked with librarians from the Tacoma Public Library and Pierce County Library System, who were excited to partner for the opportunity.
Townsend hopes the program continues to grow, with more partners getting involved to expand the total number of temporary signs placed around the county. She would also like to see the region’s tribes recognized and is looking to make those connections for future displays.